Football

Marcos Rojo better than Pele, say Argentina fans

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Marcos Rojo can finally make his Manchester United debut after being granted a visa that permits him to complete his transfer and, if Argentina supporters are to be believed, the club could be getting quite a player.

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Visa problems

Rojo had moved to Manchester United from Sporting on August 19 for a fee of €20 million, plus Luis Nani travelling in the other direction, but was unable to formally begin duties with his new club owing to issues obtaining a work permit.

The 24-year-old missed three matches, none of which his new club were able to win, during this time as his application was held up by pending criminal charges in Argentina relating to an alleged altercation with a neighbour.

He is now, however, free to play for Manchester United and is expected to make his maiden appearance after the international break when Louis van Gaal’s side host newly-promoted Queens Park Rangers at Old Trafford.

Argentina redemption

It represents a rapid rise for a player whose position in the Argentina side had been under great scrutiny on their path to the World Cup, but the defender’s reputation was significantly enhanced in Brazil as his country reached the final.

Rojo, so often a target of criticism in the past, established himself as a firm favourite among the supporters of La Albiceleste as the tournament progressed and, as reported by FIFA.com, even drew comparisons to Pele.

“Just wait and see, Marquitos will bring us back the World Cup. Marcos Rojo is greater than Pele,” the fans chanted from the terraces to herald each of his swashbuckling runs up the left-flank - a somewhat tongue-in-cheek ditty, of course, but one of genuine affection.

Defensive frailties

Following his Manchester United transfer, Rojo will be required to operate in a somewhat more restrained and disciplined position, with the player set to either be used in a defensive three, or as a centre-back in a more traditional back four.

He may have earned an element of fortune in that there will be greater expectation placed on Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao to hit their straps, but Van Gaal really needs Rojo to prove a capable acquisition or else his transfer dealings will be questioned.

The summer departures of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand suggested two central defenders of repute were required, yet Van Gaal did not add a single out-and-out centre-back to his ranks.

Rojo did perform competently in this position for Sporting, although is more recognised by most as a left-sided player after the World Cup, while Daley Blind does have the ability to slot in at the back if it is needed.

These additions, however, appear far short of the quality and experience that was a requirement after the loss of two players with over 750 Manchester United appearances, and are not the esteemed signings most fans would have been expecting.

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Topics:
Manchester United
Argentina Football
Football
Premier League
Luis Nani

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